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The Rachel Maddow Show

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Us 15, Dla Piper 6, Sarah Palin 6, Obama 5, Schiavo 5, Newt Gingrich 5, Maziar Bahari 5, Rachel 5, Michael Schiavo 4, Gundersen 3, Limbaugh 3, Maziar 3, Mr. Bahari 3, Cia 3, Mr. Limbaugh 3, Cialis 3, Alaska 3, U.s. 3, Bernie Sanders 3, Vermont 3,
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  MSNBC    The Rachel Maddow Show    News/Business. Politics, pop  
   culture and today's top stories.  

    August 13, 2009
    11:00 - 12:00am EDT  

she's tired. she went a little too far. but, you know, what the right wing does is it goes too far itself. you can say something about it. but you can count on them to overdo it. >> yes. and the other thing is long-term, why would you want to fight it at this point? look, the rutherford b. hayes election of 1876 is still going to be talked about. it's still talked about now, it's going to be talked about in the future, so is bush/gore and bush v. gore. it's not going to go away just because the secretary of state does or does not mention it to nigerians who might in fact -- there's one thing we left out of this equation. those people at that town hall might really not have known the details of that story. and that, you know -- the fact that things might look bad is just as important to tell people, i think, as, you know, whether or not there is something to that connection that she implied. is there not sort of pointlessness in the right coming back at her about this? >> you know, they might make a small point, but they're making
a big point. and so they lose out. it's like people at town halls that compare obama to hitler. you may make some point about health care reform, but you go way too far, you're tuned out. moderate republicans want to have nothing to do with you because they just simply don't want to have to answer for the people on the fringe. and the people making the most fuss here are conservatives who, it's august and are looking for something -- and by the way, the clintons are just such easy targets. you know, it is irresistible to make something big out of something little that the clintons might do wrong. >> margaret carlson of bloomberg news and "the week" magazine, thanks. >> thanks, keith. that's countdown for this the 2,296th day since the previous president declared mission accomplished in iraq. i'm keith olbermann and so long until tomorrow. and now to discuss more
details on the origins of astroturf protests with bernie sanders, here is rachel maddow. >> good evening, keith, thank you very much for that. and thank you at home for staying with us for the next hour. whether or not we are going to get health care reform at last in this country depends now mostly on the united states senate. the top republican in the united states senate on health care reform is this man. >> i think the best thing to do if you want to get people to think about end of life, number one, jesus christ is a place to start. and the physical life as opposed to your eternal life. it ought to be done within the family and considered a religious and ethical issue and not something that politicians deal with. >> not something that
politicians deal with. that's the top republican in the senate on the issue of health care. iowa senator chuck grassley and he says what happens at the end of your life is something for -- within your family. it's not something politicians should deal with. big round of applause for him on that. i mean, honestly, though, can you imagine that something as important as a person's circumstances at the capital "e," end, would be something that politicians would even think they have the right to comment on, let alone intervene in. can you even imagine that? >> the extraordinary circumstances like this, it is wise to always err on the side of life. >> the president abruptly returned from his texas ranch sunday as the crisis unfolded. >> we have a moral obligation to protect and defend her. >> we've not been able to act quickly enough as congress to step in. >> if we do not act, she will die of thirst. >> this is not a political
issue. this is an issue about this girl's life. >> i thought it was appropriate for the federal government to protect. >> so it was appropriate for the federal government, specifically, for the republican party, to get involved in a private family health care decision in 2005. when terry schiavo's next of kin her husband, michael schiavo, tried to carry out what he said were his wife's end-of-life issues, it was the republican party that decided that actually the government knew better. actually the politicians understood this better than that family and the government should intervene. now many of the very same people who interfered in michael and terry chi vo's health care decisions at the end of terry schiavo's life, the politicians that brought that end-of-life decision to the floor of the u.s. capitol, they are arguing against health care reform now on the grounds that they don't want the government to interfere in end-of-life decisions. what the big democratic government of 2009 put in the house health care reform bill was medicare funding for people
who of their own volition wanted to seek living wills or counseling about end-of-life decisions from their doctor. and as of today, that good policy idea, the genuinely righteous previously totally noncontroversial, nonpartisan effort to put patients in control of what happens at the end of their lives is apparently off the table. senator grassley of iowa, the ranking republican on the senate finance committee, announcing that the living wills provision will be taken out of the senate's proposed health care reform bill. >> you know, there may be authentic reasons that many republicans oppose reforming health care. but a concern about government inserting itself into decisions about end-of-life matters is not one of them. that purported concern coming from the people that brought you the president of the united states cutting short his vacation in order to interfere in one family's end-of-life health care decision. the president who couldn't cut short his vacation for bin laden's determined to strike
inside the u.s., but could cut short his vacation to bigfoot the end-of-life decision making of michael and terry schiavo. joining us now is george felos. he was the attorney for michael schiavo during the battle over the death of his wife. mr. felos, thanks very much for coming on the show. >> my pleasure, rachel, thank you. >> having fought this battle with michael schiavo in 2005, do you feel like you're seeing some of the same people who were interfering in the schiavo's medical decisions then now arguing against health care reform, ostensibly, because they don't think the government should interfere in personal medical decisions? >> well, there are some similarities to the schiavo case in the debate. and i think one of them is this. end-of-life decision making for patients is a very sensitive issue. people have legitimate fears, they have legitimate concerns about that. and in the schiavo case, those
legitimate concefears and conce were exploited for political and ideological reasons. and i think that's what we're seeing now done in an opposite way. >> of course, it has been demonized to get people to be afraid of health care reform, and now, apparently, this provision is out of the bill. but can you describe the utility of the kind of living will provision that is at the heart of all this? the idea that medicare would reimburse doctors if they -- if patients wanted to get living will counseling, end-of-life counseling, from their doctors and they were already covered by medicare? >> well, this conversation between a doctor and the patient, which has been so demonized and mischaracterized is very simple. you have a patient, let's say, who's in a terminal condition or an end-stage condition and perhaps they're being admitted to a facility, a hospital or nursing home, where the time comes to have the conversation. and the doctor may say, well, you know, if your heart stops beating, what do you want to have happen? do you want to be resuscitated
or not? and the patient says, well, what's the pros and cons? and the doctor may say, well, if we resuscitate you, there's a 20% chance that you'll be unconscious. there's a 40% chance that you may awake, but be -- have severe brain damage. and there's a 40% chance you may be all right. and the patient way say, well, how much more time may that buy me? and the doctor may say, well, that's about four months, six months. the patient digests that information, talks to his family members about it, and comes to a reasoned decision. that's the most sensible and practical thing a patient -- a patient and doctor can do, and that empowers patients to make decisions that's right for them and right for their families. >> by talking about that, by characterizing that kind of conversation as a way, essentially, to enforce oo euthanasia in this country, to kill people against their will,
to tell people who are considering health care measures that they can't have those health care measures because they're somehow not economically worthy, they're the ways that what you have just described have been perverted in the description of health care reform. do you think that permanent damage is being done to the idea of people getting living wills? >> well, i certainly hope not. and you have to remember that propagation of fear as a technique may work in the short-term, but it never works in the long-term. if you take the schiavo case as an example, those proponents of interfering with private decision making, those opponents who exploited the schiavo case, it was downhill politically for them after that. so i hope there's no damage being incurred, because people need -- physicians and patients need all the help they can get to get together and make these decisions.
most people don't want to die in an icu on a ventilator with tubes in their body. people would like to die in home, they would like to die in familiar settings with their loved ones and pain free. but unless you tell your doctor what you want and you refuse those procedures, the default position is treatment. and you have countless americans in this country who don't talk to their doctors and they don't have that communication that get aggressive treatment at the end of the life that they don't want. and that's a tragedy. and it's a tragedy, also, that the opponents of this provision are mischaracterizing it so greatly. we need a genuine conversation about end-of-life decision making, how to help the patient, how to help the physician. and the only thing that this bill does is say, we'll pay the doctor for the conversation. >> george felos. >> that's it! >> former attorney for michael schiavo. perfectly clarifying remarks on this tonight. thanks for helping us get through it. i really appreciate it. >> my pleasure, rachel. as the effort to make people
parade of health care reform demonizes the previously, totally noncontroversial idea of living wills, as mr. felos was just explaining, do you think it would discourage any of these fearmongering deathers folks to know that for the small cost of a commercial sponsorship, both rush limbaugh and, i, rachel maddow, would encourage you to look into getting a living will. rush and i have something in common. ly explain, i promise. i'm racing cross country in this small sidecar, but i've still got room for the internet.
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full disclosure. in addition to this show here on msnbc, i have a radio show on air america. as part of my responsibilities for my air america job, i sometimes voice advertisements. which means that i read copy promoting the goods or services of companies that pay radio stations or that pay air america for the promotion. it's what people in talk radio do. one read i used to do was for a company that provides legal forms for a do it yourself living will. now, i also happen to believe that a living will is a good thing to have, so i have absolutely no qualms about having done that read for that ad once upon a time. but in this fight that i hesitate to call a debate about health care that we're having as a country right now, getting a living will is being likened to murder or forced suicide or fascism or something. the conspiracy theory that the governments promoting living will, which the government has done for 20 years, is somehow
now a secret plot to kill old people. it was started by a woman called betsy mccoy. she's director of a medical device company, a former director of a biotech company and she's a senior fellow at the hudson institute, which is a right-wing think tank funded by some of the biggest pharmaceutical firms in the country. the living wills are secretly a plot to kill people myth was started by bet city mccoy. she advanced it on the pages of rupert murdoch's "new york post," she promoted it on right-wing talk shows hosted by fred thompson. but once that conspiracy got it start, it was popularized by people like sarah palin and newt gingrich and the influential republican talk show host, rush limbaugh. >> people of a certain age, with certain diseases will be deemed not worth the investment and
they will just, as obama said, they'll give them some pain pills and let them loop out until they die and they don't even know what's happened. >> now, i've given you some full disclosure about my talk radio career. he's some full disclosure about rush limbaugh's radio talk show career. >> visit national will, or better yet, go to and get started. do it for yourself, do it for your family. take control. now, legalzoom is not a law firm. it was started by top attorneys to provide self-help services at your direction. that's >> rush limbaugh and i have voiced ads for the same company, a company that i think does a relatively good thing in the world, by promoting, among other things, living wills. mr. limbaugh, on the other hand, has been railing on his talk radio show all month how he
thinks that promoting living wills is secretly a plot to -- what did he say again? >> let them loop out until they die. >> according to mr. limbaugh, living wills are a secret plot by the government to kill you, to let you "loop out until you die." i don't know what looping out means, but it sounds bad. what does this all mean? it means that either rush limbaugh doesn't really believe the health care reform and living wills are a secret plot to kill old people conspiracy, or he does believe it, but for a few pesos, he will tell you to look into it, because it's not that bad an idea. and it's not just mr. limbaugh. at yesterday, intrepid reporter matt taibbi brought us the same kind of full disclosure for a conservative you might have heard of called newt gingrich. >> you're asking us to trust the government. i'm not talking about the obama administration, i'm talking about the government. you're asking us to decide that
we believe that the government is to be trusted. we know people who have said routinely, well, you're going to have to make decision, you're going to have to decide. communal standards, historically, is a very dangerous concept. >> that's not in the bill. >> but the bill -- the bill's 1,000 pages of setting up mechanisms, it sets up 45 different agencies, it has all sorts of panels. you're asking us to trust turning power over to the government when there clearly are people in america who believe in establishing euthanasia, including selective standards. >> people in the government believe in establishing euthanasia. you're asking us to trust the government about asking us to make the decisions? of course people are concerned. this is very dangerous. mr. gingrich has been as enthusiastic as any figure on the right in claiming that health care reform and its provision to promote people making living wills should be viewed as a secret plot to kill old people. just a few weeks ago, mr.
gingrich, however, was all for it, praising exactly the same kind of end-of-life counseling plan in the pages of "the washington post" that he now demonizes. on july 2nd, he said in "the post," quote, more than 20% of all medicare spending occurs in the last two months of life. gunderson lute iran health system in la crosse, wisconsin, has developed a successful end-of-life best practice that includes community-wide advanced care planning, where 90% of pages have advanced directives. that's a living will. the gundersen approach you'res patients and families to control and direct their care. gundersen delivers care at a 30% lower rate than the national average. if gundersen's approach was used to care for the approximately 4.5 million medicare beneficiaries who die every year, medicare could save more than $35 billion a year. so newt gingrich not only says advanced directives -- living wills -- are a great empowering
thing for patients and their families to control and direct care, he thinks that everyone on medicare should get them too. you know what, that's exactly what was proposed in the house health reform bill, which newt gingrich then denounced as a secret plot to euthanize everyone. one more here, the person who has probably done more than anything, other than betsy mccoy, who made it up in the first place, to promote this idea of living wills as a secret plot to kill you is former half-term alaska governor sarah palin. she has now released a second statement on her facebook page, this one has footnotes, and it's denouncing the living wills provision of the house health care bill. and she denounces it once again as a death panel. i regret that it is also time for some full disclosure about sarah palin on this issue. in order to do that, "the rachel maddow show" is now not quite proud to present governor sarah palin's declaration of april 16th, 2008, as health care
decisions day in alaska. as read by rod blagojevich, because that's who we pay to read stuff. >>
>> as read by our rod blagojevich impersonator. so how exactly do we get from advanced directives -- living wills -- getting their very own celebratory day proclaimed in alaska by sarah palin, how do we get from there to sarah palin condemning living wills as death panels? you know, if you or someone that you know is getting on in years and if you or that person you know hears someone like rush limbaugh or newt gingrich or sarah "whereas" palin telling you or them that health care reform includes a plot to kill the elderly in this country, a, don't be afraid, and b, know their record. and know this -- even they don't believe this bullpucky that they are selling you. even they don't believe it. (announcer) we will not be quiet
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we now present today's greatest hits from the right wing's summer of ginned up discontent, playing every afternoon at a school gym or a vfw hall near you. >> i'm here to give you a brief -- i'm here to give you a brief report -- a brief report of what i've been doing. president obama has said that he will not sign a bill which adds to the deficit and i will not -- and i will -- and i -- i will
not -- >> i would like to say that i fully support that everything that president obama's trying to do, especially where health care is concerned -- [ crowd booing ] >> you are talking down to the american people if you think we are that stupid to accept this. >> confronting with scenes like this pretty much every day now, confronted with this as the new face of opposition to president obama, the only elected national leader of the republican party, the party chairman, michael steele, has plumed newly found depths of empathy. >> the american people are ticked off, as one of the participants said yesterday, and they're very concerned. they're not being un-american, they're being distinctly american. they're being uniquely american, in expressing openly their frustration with what they hear their political leadership saying. >> what do you want us to do
about it? they're concerned, they're scared. we're just responding to the fact that they are concerned and scared. why, exactly, are they scared? where is the scary information that is coming from that is scaring them so, that the republican party is just reacting to the scaredness of these scared people? well, one of the places where the scary information is coming from, one of the place where town hall protests are being promoted and town hall protesters are getting their marching orders before they go is a place called if you surf over to, you will see that they bill themselves for the online community for patriotic citizens who are opposing the obama-led socialist agenda. right there on the front page, right at the top is the message "we need your help," all caps. august recess health care blitz. so what sort of information is available at for people who might want to blitz something in the august recess? well, there's this video, which is titled "obama equals hitler."
the contents of which you can probably figure out based on the not-at-all ambiguous name and these nice shots. want to hear what they say about health care? there's this particular post. waiting lines will be long, others will die. why is this being done? backdoor reparations. i pray that god will strike obama dead and all who stand with him, they are evil. so who runs well, if you scroll all the way down to the bottom of this website, you will see that it is run by something called in fact, on their "about us" page, you will find that grassfire is funding resistnet as part of, quote, our overall patriotic resistance effort, which is an awfully nice thing for to do, to completely fund this website that's calling president obama hitler and organizing against health care reform and posting death threats against the president. i mean, you know, it kind of makes me want to know more about well, according to the
independent watchdog group, public citizen, is represented by the washington, d.c.-based pr firm, shirley and bannister public affairs. the shirley is a man named craig shirley. craig shirley is a very longtime pr operative. the next time you hear republican party chairman michael steele say something like this -- >> and anyone out there who says that the republican party or state parties or republican activists are out there doing that are flat-out lying. they're wrong. >> flat-out lying, they're wrong. actually, they're not wrong. the willie horton ad-making republican pr activist guy is the same guy that reps the anti-health care reform obama equals hitler website. no wonder people are afraid. we have been tracking this sort of astroturfing and false flagging, really, for the entire
month of august now. mainly because this sort of thing still isn't being widely reported, which amazes me. this is a perfect system for the republican party. it's a constant feedback loop. the republican party activists stir up fear and anger on the internets, fearful, angry people go to town hall events, and then republican party officials say they're just responding to that anger and they have no idea where it came from. it's a perfect cycle. rile them up with madeup stuff and then sympathize with them that are so riled. joining us now is senator bernie sanders, independent of vermont. he's a member of the senate health, education, labor, and pensions committee. senator sanders, thanks very much for coming back on the show tonight. >> my pleasure. >> i know that you have two town hall events scheduled for this weekend. in watching some of the events that have unfolded -- the way that events have unfolded around the country over the last couple of weeks with your senate colleagues, what are you preparing yourself for? >> well, i think vermont does
things a little bit differently than other places around the country. i have done hundreds and hundreds of town hall meetings from one end of the state to the other, and frankly, up until now, we've had zero problems. in this state, at least, people listen to other people. if they disagree with them, they are polite about it, and we engage in serious discussion. and we expect, fully expect, that that's exactly what will take place this saturday. there'll be a large turnout, but i suspect the dialogue will be respectful. what concerns me very much about this whole business, rachel, i think you did a great job analyzing the whole process, is that it deflects attention away from the real health care crisis this country is facing. the question we should be talking about is not the end-of-life, phony discussion of rush limbaugh, et cetera. what we should be talking about is how it can be that this nation spends almost twice as much per capita on health care as any other nation, and yet we have 46 million people uninsured, more underinsured,
18,000 people a year dying because they don't go to a doctor when they should, and our health care outcomes are behind many other countries. that is the kind of debate that we should be having, not the issue of, does barack obama want to kill off the old people or the disabled? that is insane. and what we have got to do is put forward a progressive health care plan. we have got to rally our base, the people who don't have health insurance, the small business people who can't afford health insurance for their workers and the american people who know there's something wrong, when our system is so far behind many other countries. >> if it is harder to rile people with hope than it is to rile them with fear, it may be hard to go sort of base versus base, activist versus activist, honestly shouting person versus shouting person at some of these events, and in terms of competition, for the overall narrative around health care. do you think that the people who
are saying -- who are promoting these myths, that the president does want to kill old people, all of these crazy things about health care reform, do you think that they should just be ignored? is it worth debunking them or mocking them? >> oh, no. i think what you are doing and all of us have to do, we have to call a lie a lie and they lie a whole lot of times. and we have to hold the republican party and the officials who support these lies accountable. but that's not enough. what we need to do is do what obama did during his very brilliant campaign. and that is rally tens of millions of people to stand up and say that health care is the civil rights issue of the moment, that it is not acceptable that 1 million people a year -- this year -- are going to go bankrupt because of medically related costs. we need to do grassroots organizing. i'll tell you what else we need to do. we need to understand that it is very, very hard for the president or anybody else to take on not just the republican party, that's the easy part, to take on all of right-wing talk
radio, which covers 90% of talk show hosts, a whole fox network, which is nothing more than an arm of the republican party, and the democrats got to think long-term. why is there not a progressive television network? why aren't we supporting good and effective personalities on radio as well and build up a network there, so that we can have that kind of political consciousness raising that the republicans in fact are doing so well right now. >> senator bernie sanders, independent of vermont, thank you very much for your time tonight, sir. good luck with your town hall meetings this weekend. >> thank you, rachel. coming up, our reporting on the money behind many of the anti-health reform shouter mobs seems to have touched a nerve with a lobbying firm run by dick armey. touching a nerve is turning out to be a specialty around here. so, what's the problem?
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coming up, one of "newsweek's" reporters is being held in prison in iran. his wife, 6 1/2 months pregnant with their first child, joins us
to tell us what is being done to try to get him out. honestly, i hate that we're developing almost a template for how to cover these journalist in jail for no reason other than doing his or her job stories. we take a lot of freedoms for granted. freedom of the press, really not being taken for granted, especially not this year. that very dramatic story is coming up. but first, time for a couple of holy mackerel stories in today's news. "the new york times" completed its two-part series today on the history of the bush administration's torture program. now, this is not the big-picture stuff about why we were torturing people, not the "who's idea was it" stuff, it's not even the "how did they think they would get away with it" stuff. what "the times" has reported on these past two days is actually the small stuff. really detailed reporting. yesterday, on the two guys who were paid millions of dollars to design the how-to instructions for torture. these are the guys who wrote up, quite literally, the blow-by-blow for how americans should torture prisoners during the bush administration.
we now know that bruce justin and jim mitchell had never, ever, in their entire lives, ever done a single interrogation when the geniuses in the bush administration decided to pay them to overrule every experienced interrogate in the u.s. government so they could implement their madeup reversed engineered get a false confession torture program. jim mitchell's academic expertise, for example, was comparing the effects of diet and exercise for combatting hypertension. but that didn't stop him for getting the contract to design the torture program. in part two of the series, we learned today of another aspect of the torture program that was not only toxic to our values, counterstrategic in terms of our national security, potentially dangerous in terms of the safety of americans around the world, today we learned of another aspect of the torture program that was not just strategically and morally bankrupt, but was actually just pathetic. when the bush administration decided that the cia should build secret prisons in other countries to administer its
torture program, they turned to a cia operator named dusty fago to build those prisons. the name dusty fago may be familiar to you, he's in jail for corruption. mr. foggo pled guilty to giving padded top-dollar cia supply contracts to a buddy of his, who then repaid the favor by taking dusty on really expensive vacations, by paying for some of dusty's rather lavish living expenses, and by promising dusty a job once he was out of the cia. dusty's friend is a guy named brent wilkes. he's also in prison right now for bribing republican congressman duke cunningham. corrupt imprisoned dusty foggo and his corrupt, imprisoned contractor friend, brent wilkes, are the guys the bush administration hired to build and equip their secret torture prisons in morocco and some other unnamed eastern city. like it's not bad we have to
live with the fact that the last president set up a torture program for the united states, we have to live with the fact that it was pathetically, horrendously, embarrassly corrupt. is it wrong to have expected higher standards from my government's secret prison and torture program? and finally, all month long, we have been talking to the extent at which the angry protests at town halls are being promoted by republican party and republican pr and lobbying firms. naturally, that brought us to a group called freedomworks, an ostensibly grassroots group that has claimed credit for organizing and promoting town hall protests. freedomworks is chaired by former house majority leader dick armey, which whom i will be appearing on "meet the press" this sunday. mr. army is also a senior policy adviser at a d.c. law firm called dla piper. well, after we discussed freedom works and mr. army and dla piper
on this show a couple of days ago, we were lucky enough to obtain this internal dla piper memo, which was sent out by the lobbying firm's joint chairman to all of the firm's employees. it reads, quote, recently, several media commentators -- i think that might mean me -- have suggested that dla piper may be opposing health care reform. some of the reports have gone so far as to suggest that the firm itself or on behalf of its clients may be supporting activities to disrupt the national debate on health care reform. all of these suggestions are entirely false. the firm has not on its own behalf or on the behalf of any client directly or indirectly opposed any of the pending health care reform bills and the firm strongly opposes any activities designed to disrupt the national debate about health care reform or any other public policy issues. on the contrary, dla piper represents clients who support enactment of effective health care reform this year and encourages responsible, national debate. we have contacted news outlets
to set the record straight and urge correction of the inaccurate reports. for the record, we've checked and no one from the lobbying firm dla piper has contacted me or anyone else on this show by e-mail or facts or telephone or carrier pigeon or smoke signal. if anyone from dla piper would like to talk to us and explain how, exactly, the firm is "encouraging responsible national debate" and "strongly opposing the national debate about health care reform" while its senior policy adviser is also running freedom works, which has been putting its officials on tv to brag about blowing up town hall events, their words, not mine, and calling on those who attend those town halls to be, and i quote, aggressive, we here at this show would love to hear that explanation. we would love to hear from you, honestly. or you can keep communicating with us via another internal memos to your employees who will
then leak it to us. he ran off with his secretary! she's 23 years old! - oh, come on. - enough! you get half and you get half. ( chirp ) team three, boathouse? ( chirp ) oh yeah-- his and hers. - ( crowd gasping ) - ( chirp ) van gogh? ( chirp ) even steven. - ( chirp ) mansion. - ( chirp ) good to go. ( grunts ) timber! ( chirp ) boss? what do we do with the shih-tzu? - ( crowd gasps ) - ( chirp ) joint custody. - phew! - announcer: get wk done now. communicate in less than a second with nextel direct connect. only on the now network. deaf, hard of hearing and people with speech disabilities access
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if you go to the website of, what you get is news of the day, promotion of their blogs and stuff, promotion of their global edition, and you get this -- free maziar bahari. "newsweek" isn't amnesty
international, they're not even pacifica. they're not known as a crusading cause endorsing publication. but free maziar bahari is their cause now, because maziar bahari is their reporter, and the government of iran has not only locked him up for being "newsweek's" reporter, they've also forced him to into a show trial. two weekends ago, bahari was one of 100 journalists and activists and opposition figures and iranians with dual citizenship who were all put on trial in one big group trial a la stalin, charged with helping foreigners undermine the government of iran by somehow orchestrating those massive anti-government protests that have roiled iran since the disputed elections there in june. mr. bahari, who has dual iranian/canadian citizenship, was even brought out solo to speak to reporters on the sidelines of that show trial. he gave what a "new york times" account described as a "chilling lecture" to those reporters on the media's rolling in fomenting
revoluti revolution. it's chilling, of course, because it's forced. maziar bahari is a reporter. he's not an agent of any foreign power. he wasn't fomenting anything. he was doing his job as a professional, objective journalist, one who was accredited by the iranian government itself to cover the elections in iran and the reactions to them. "newsweek" and mr. bahari's family and supporters have now made the difficult decision to take their efforts to have him freed from prison public. they're hoping that what they have not been able to accomplish through back channel efforts and quiet diplomacy might be accomplished if enough people know about this and are moved to speak out to free maziar bahari. joining us now is mr. bahari's wife. her name is paola gourley and she joins us from london. thanks very much for agreeing to talk to us about maziar. >> thank you. >> first of all, i don't know you, and i hope you don't mind me asking, because it's somewhat personal, but i want to know how you're doing, how you and your
family are holding up through all of this. >> well, it's a very difficult time, one i never thought it would be like this. i'm 6 1/2 months pregnant. and so i just have to keep positive always and it's such a struggle to remain always with hopes and to get through this time. >> you have been able to be in touch with your husband at all or anybody been able to be in touch with him? >> his mother has spoken very briefly with maziar a few times during the last month and a half. and maziar was able to see him in the prison with maziar's brother-in-law. but i haven't had any details about that meeting. other than it was very brief and i think maziar said he was okay.
other than that, i -- i've not spoken to maziar at all, haven't been able to meet with him. >> i know that the semiofficial news agency in iran a week or so ago released some photos of him and some of the other people with duel citizenship who they have been holding. how did he look to you when you saw him in those photos, just compared to how you knew him before he left for this trip? >> well, before the trip, maziar looked healthy. he looked happy. and when i saw the photo of him, the thing that popped up on to my screen, i burst into tears and was inconsolable because he looked so gaunt and unhappy. and he just didn't look like the same person. it broke my heart. >> in terms of what he is accused of, the iranian government, of course, accuses
him of helping endangering iran's national security. the iranian media quotes him as having stated as a journalist and a member of this great western capitalism machine, he said he had either blindly oregon on purpose projected doubts does that sound like anything he would say of his own free well? >> absolutely not. excuse me. maziar is incredibly fair minded. his reporting has always been very balanced. it's certainly not something he would ever say at all of his own free will. maziar is known and respected for his balanced work. and even in iran has always been given appropriate credittation throughout his long career for working in iran. and it is proposterous now that
they can say that he's been a danger to national security when he was simply doing his job in the fair manner in which he's always done it. >> one last question for you. people watching this now are moved to try to help, i know that you, other members of your family and supporters and "newsweek" and others have decided that it's in his best interest that there be a public campaign to try to free him f people are moved to try to help, what do you suggest that people do? >> the easiest way is to go to the website, there is a page on there for petition and there is a page on there for italian petition. the petitions are online. you can just join the petition and also just get in contact as well via the website if anyone has any ideas on how to promote the awareness of maziar's
plight. >> paula gorli, the wife of maziar bahari. all the best luck to new this. >> thank you very much. >> can you keep up to date on his conditions, case, efforts being made to free him at there is a link to it at our home page whi. to block progress on health care reform, derailing the debate with myths and scare tactics. desperately trying to stop you from discovering that reform won't ration care. you and your doctor will always decide the best treatment for you. tell congress not to let myths get in the way of fixing what's broken with health care. learn the facts at our expert stylist recommends full & thick from pantene. it just got the good housekeeping seal. you wanna know why?
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